Graskop
Close to the ground.

GPS: S 24 55.903 E 030 50.545 pop. 2,000 | elevation 1,441m/4,727 ft

Graskop is a small, liberal, laid-back town that got its name from the large swaths of treeless grassland surrounding the town. The town is small enough to get around on foot and the rural cozy atmosphere makes it a good location from which to explore the surrounding Blyde River Canyon and area hiking trails or just to relax for a weekend.

Big Swing & Highwire

Big Swing & Highwire has one of the worlds highest cable gorge swings that will give you a good rush on the 68m freefall (in less than 3 seconds.) When you are done swinging you are lowered to the bottom of the gorge from where you walk up exactly 420 steps to the top of the other side of the gorge. There you will find The Edge Bar across from the jump where you can sit back and enjoy a drink while watching others take the plunge. If you are going to the swing here note that this type of activity is loosely regulated in South Africa and a newlywed South African bride died after the couple did a tandem swing on their honeymoon in late 2009.


The Graskop Day Hike

The Graskop Day Hike is a 13.3 km easy to moderate route starting at the Fanie Botha Graskop Hut. It leads you through the Pine and Blue gum plantations as well as through indigenous forest. This hike takes you across the Mac Mac River and to the Forest Falls. The area has small antelope and birds. You can pick up maps and permits at Graskop Tourist Information Office or Valley View Backpackers.


Graskop has a good selection of imported and locally made curios and crafts. A number of crafts shops can be found on Hoof St and Louis Trichardt St Curio d' Afrique is one of the larger curio shops with a large variety of crafts from throughout Africa. They can also mail items home for you.


Graskop Valley View Backpackers

Graskop Valley View Backpackers is a friendly hostel run by an energetic Dutch couple who can organize hikes and rock climbing. They also rent mountain bikes (R50/hr, R175/day) to tour the area trails. The backpackers has a communal lounge area and braai pit outside the main house.


Autumn Breath

Autumn Breath is a spacious B&B with three well-appointed rooms inside the owners' house and a small restaurant (mains R25-40, 8am-6pm) on the lower level open to the public during the day. The B&B is run by a very friendly South African couple, Johann and Ina who are very knowledgeable about the area's attractions.


Blyde Lodge

Blyde Lodge is a nondescript and secure 12-room B&B just off the main drag with a large bar and lounge area and a restaurant that serves a good dinner upon request.


Graskop Hotel

Graskop Hotel is the only hotel in town and has a few rows of cottages behind the main building across from the large swimming pool. It is far from your standard hotel,with an artistically-decorated interior and individually-styled rooms, art throughout the hallways, in the lounge areas and restaurant.


Harrie's Pancakes

Graskop is the "pancake capital of South Africa" and Harrie's Pancakes is Graskop's oldest pancake house with a new modern look and excellent service. There is a large variety of sweet and savory pancakes from butter and syrup to escargot with creamy garlic sauce. The restaurant gets tour buses with some frequency so in peak season it is probably worth making a reservation if you plan on going during lunch time.


Canimambo

Canimambo is a Portuguese and Mozambique style restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. In the same building next door to the restaurant is a cocktail lounge that is a good place to have a drink after dinner or catch a sports game.


Pine and Pint

Pine and Pint is under new management with a new menu, including its signature trout, a variety of pasta dishes and burgers. It also has a good selection of vegetarian dishes.


Spirit Chinese Restaurant

Spirit Chinese Restaurant is run by a Chinese family and is a good budget option to eat out in Graskop with standard Chinese dishes. They also do takeout.


Canimambo Cocktail Lounge and Pine and Pint (see Eating) are the only bars in town that make cocktails and are the most popular evening watering holes.


Summit Lodge

Summit Lodge is also known to attract a thirsty crowd.